Automation and Chatbot Technology
“This transformation will forever alter how you conduct business. Automation provides unprecedented scale at high velocity and with higher quality, offering new opportunities for business model innovation.”Chatbot technologies can help enterprises drive automation and customer experience. Our experience is that when a firm is ready to fully use bots, the impact can be a game changer. Our clients are using bots to drive automation, and using automation to drive digital transformation.
Yet, we see that many firms struggle to understand:
- How to best use chatbots, and...
- How bots fit into the larger enterprise automation strategy (the focus of this post)
If automation is so powerful that Forrester calls automation the “next catalytic revolution,” then we need a framework to help us determine how automation technologies work together and fit into the larger enterprise automation strategy.
Bots + Automation + Transformation
“Automation will be central to the next phase of digital transformation, driving new levels of customer value such as faster delivery of products, higher quality and dependability, deeper personalization, and greater convenience,” opines Forrester.
Automation involves a broad set of tools from chatbots, virtual agents, robotic process automation (RPA), desktop automation, legal automation, IT automation, physical robots, AI-driven services and so on. With all these very different types of automation technology, how can we determine how various types of automation relate to one another, identify reuse opportunities and determine how best to rationalize our automation portfolio?
We need a visual framework to show how chatbot and other types of automation technologies relate in the broader enterprise context.
Forrester’s Automation Framework
Forrester released an automation framework to help make sense of the various automation technologies. We are offering a free download of that report here:
The Forrester automation framework assesses technologies across nine criteria:
- Process profile: data acquisition, comprehension, and determinism
- Enterprise effect: robotics quotient, operating effect, and governance/audit ability
- People effect: human-machine interaction, human effect, and conversational intelligence
Forrester's Chris Gardner outlined the nine dimensions in this blog post graphic:
Using these criteria, you can map diverse automation projects and generate a visual graphic of how these technologies relate.
In the report, Forrester applies the framework above to chatbots. The report shows how:
- Chatbot technology takes in largely unstructured data from human conversations
- Chatbots apply a mix of coded/deterministic and learning/non-deterministic behaviors in processing
- Conversational intent processing can be minimal to being highly robust
- A high degree of human-machine interaction is required for this chatbot automation
The report goes into more detail on chatbots and then compares and contrasts it to other automation technology. It is an interesting, and useful, view on chatbots that you won’t find elsewhere.
Using the Automation Framework
This framework can help you better align shared services, streamline KPIs, and lower project risk. Forrester says the framework will help:
- Align automation technology to what is truly necessary
- Get better leverage over their portfolios
- Design modular and consumable automation services
- Estimate the effect of potential automation on process, enterprise, and people
Look at the Big Picture for Automation
Our guidance to clients is that chatbot tech and other automation technologies do not exist in isolation. Enterprise chatbots are not point solutions; they are part of a system. When you are tasked with generating powerful business impact, chatbots are one of many components in your transformation toolbox. We suggest to always look at the big automation picture.
This Forrester report and automation framework helps you see automation at that big picture level. Download the Forrester Report - Get Control Over Your Bots with Forrester’s Automation Framework – here:
We recommend you use the Forrester automation framework to evaluate chatbots, RPA, self-service and other technologies against the larger enterprise automation strategy. The framework output is a graphic that is sure to stir a deeper conversation.